Cooney Bay Winter Beach Walk

Cooney Bay Winter Beach Walk

Doug Smith  February 8, 2020 at 8:50 am

Each winter we seem to have a month when more moderate weather melts the snow at lower elevations.   The best places to hike when this happens are along the shoreline and beaches of our rivers and Kamloops Lake.   The Cooney Bay Road is rough at any time of the year, but it was even more potholed with deep slushy puddles in January, almost making it high clearance access.   I parked at the end of the road and headed down to the shoreline, skirting muddy spots.

The most open areas were mostly dry with some shoreline snow and ice blown to the shoreline from across the lake, or swept downriver and around the bend.   My route was along the shoreline on the beach toward the Tranquille River outlet.

Tranquille River fans out as the ice builds up once it comes near Cooney Bay.   I could hear the river running under the ice as I walked upstream on the ice.

Near the moth of the river, the ice had many hues and tones  from the silts and sediments embedded in the ice.   Battle Bluff juts out into the lake like the prow of a battleship.

Small bergs pile up on the shoreline, making snow and ice mounds.

On the way back, I walked upstream along the Thompson River.   This delta area was full of sandbars and ice shelves.   It is possible to walk along the beach and shoreline all the way to the Rivers Trail, but there are some sections of scrubland with very little shoreline just east of the Tranquille Wildlife Area, making progress quite difficult.   A better choice is to hike the Rivers Trail West to the end of the beaches on one day and to hike Cooney Bay another day, skipping the 3 km section in between.

We are indeed lucky to have so many miles of shoreline to hike, especially in winter.      Watch this website for more updates in coming weeks.

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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at:

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